Today the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on California’s Prop 8 (or, as some refer to it, Prop Hate), which bans marriage equality for same-sex couples in the state.  To true advocates of human and civil rights, marriage is a fundamental right that ALL consenting adults must have.  Recognizing that basic human right are eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden), several sub-national jurisdictions in Brazil and Mexico, and nine states in the USA (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington), plus the District of Columbia, plus three tribal jurisdictions (Coquille Tribe/Oregon, Suquamish Tribe/Washington, and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians/Michigan).  Same-sex marriage laws are proposed and pending in many countries and jurisdictions throughout the world.

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision from today’s arguments.  May they decide on the right side of history, and all adult citizens of the United States will finally enjoy the freedom to marry.  And the marriage of the women pictured below (who were together for 32 years when they legally married in New York in 2011) will be recognized throughout the entire United States.

The first same-sex couple to be married in Westchester County, New York, on July 24, 2011, the day New York State's Marriage Equality Law went into effect.

The first same-sex couple to be married in Westchester County, New York, on July 24, 2011, the day New York State’s Marriage Equality Law went into effect.

Image available for editorial stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

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100th Birthday

January 10, 2013

January 9, 2013 would have been the 100th birthday of our 37th president, Richard M. Nixon. In 1990, early in my career, when Mr. Nixon was still a septuagenarian, and I was…well I was a bit younger myself, I was given the great opportunity to photograph the former American president. The assignment was to create an illustrative portrait for The American Spectator magazine’s “Who Reads” ad which ran in each issue.

Although I was too young to vote when he ran for the presidency, I certainly remembered Watergate, his subsequent resignation, and the negativity which became a part of his legacy. For me, he was and remains among the most famous, and certainly the most notorious, person I’ve ever photographed. Mr. Nixon was also one of my best photo subjects, easy to work with, very accommodating, and very easy to direct. He was also quite the gentleman, kind, and made me feel so comfortable. Both his wife and one of his daughters called during the session. As he spoke to each of them, the expression on his face and in his eyes revealed a man who obviously had great love for his family.

So all politics aside, these positive impressions of President Nixon along with the images of a very successful shoot will always also be a part of his legacy for me.

Richard M. Nixon for The American Spectator magazine, November 2000

Richard M. Nixon for The American Spectator magazine, November 1990

On June 12, 2010 thousands of proud and happy LGBT people and their supporters marched along historic Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in celebration of Pride. I’ve been to many Pride marches and events in my life, and I must say, this New Yorker was very impressed with the spirit of the LGBT community in the Land of Enchantment.

Hot in the Southwest, the LGBT community shows its Pride!

Hot in the Southwest, the LGBT community shows its Pride!

Transitioning

May 6, 2010

I recently shot portraits of Kara as part of the T-Project, photos of trans gender residents of Westchester County, New York, made possible via a grant by Arts Westchester to The LOFT LGBT Community Services Center in White Plains, New York.  Kara arrived to be photographed, some would say, unprepared.  She was dressed down, wore no make-up, and had come directly from an electrolysis session with face redness quite fresh and obvious.  But Kara was quite prepared.  She explained to me that she wants to show what the process of transitioning truly entails.  Electrolysis is only one part of the facial feminization process, a long and often painful process, like so much of transitioning is, both physically and emotionally.  The people I’ve photographed for the T-Project have taught me so much about being who we are and being unafraid.

Male to female trans gender woman

Male to female trans gender woman

Today President Obama signed health care reform into law, something which took nearly 100 years to do.  For some Americans, this is one more thing to protest about.

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more about “Tea Party People“, posted with vodpod

Anti-Socialist American

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